It's the most wonderful tiiiiime….of the year. You can just hear Andy Williams belting out that line (well, if you are over a certain age). And what is that time of year? Christmas! And with all of the
shopping, decorating, and 24/7 Christmas music, you might think it really is Christmas already.
But today I would like to remind you that Christmas, as a church season, begins on the December 25 and lasts for twelve days. (You've probably heard a song about that too).
The time of year that we are in is called Advent, and today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time for waiting. This waiting time has many shades of meaning in the modern church.
We remember the historical significance: the people of Israel awaiting a savior who had been promised by Isaiah (unto us a child is born). It was a long wait, over 500 years between Isaiah's prophecy and the actual birth of Christ.
We take in the current significance, realizing that we are in a time of preparation for the actual celebration day. We try to remember not to be too caught up in the excitement (and stress) of the season.
And we remember the future significance. Advent sermons remind us that we also are in a time of waiting, just like the Israelites, as we await the coming of Christ's Kingdom.
As we observe the season of Advent, remember that it is not just a "Countdown to Christmas," but a special season all its own. Yes, it is still fun to remember "how many days 'til Christmas" and to open little doors on Advent calendars and sometimes find a piece of chocolate inside. But let's remember the historical and personal reason for this season, the Advent season.